fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transferred into your bank account" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "keep it confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mike LORD <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 10:04:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Pls. respond
How are you today? Please treat this message as urgent because my lawyer has succeeded to obtain all the inheritance documents for this claim, which is already submitted to the bank. The good news is that the bank has approved $1.200, 000.00 USD (One Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) and now waiting to release the fund to a foreigner who can stand as the next of kin to our late customer.
Please can we trust you as our foreign partner?Â Because I contacted you in order to present you as the next of kin to our late customer since he did not left any next of kin, and we will not like in a situation whereby the fund will be transferred into your bank account then you disappear with the total fund.
My dear, If youâre interested to archive this business with us, please urgently respond back to me as soon as you receive this message, so that I can advice you with more details and to enable you provide your bank information were the bank can transfer the funds to you as the right beneficiary, since my lawyer has already submitted all the legal documents regarding this claim, definitely it will take only 7 (seven) working days to release the fund immediately they receive your bank account, so we are expecting to hear from you as soon as you read this message and accept to share with us.
Please respond to my private email address at firstname.lastname@example.org and do understand that this business is 100% risk free and you have to keep it confidential until the fund transferred into your account safely, as we cannot afford to loose this opportunity.
We have agreed to share this fund with you as our foreign partner, and I will be coming to your country with my lawyer immediately you confirm the fund in your bank account for the sharing and good investment.
Mr. Mike LORD.